Elizabeth Degi DuBois, PhD
Client Relations Director
I joined Z Family Law, LLC after the end of my own marriage, which I was able to survive thanks in large part to Z Family Law founder Christy Zlatkus’ invaluable advice and level-headed emotional support. As Client Relations Director, I partner hard-won lessons from my own divorce, my work as a private divorce coach, and my doctoral training in family conflict to support our clients through their darkest moments.
It took me more than three years of contemplation, dialogue with my husband, therapy, spiritual guidance and, finally, legal advice to make the decision to leave a marriage I had invested my heart and dreams in for nearly 15 years. I know first hand that navigating your way through the emotional, legal and financial hurdles that accompany family law matters can feel insurmountable, even crippling. Working to support the families our practice serves is my way of paying forward the incredible legal counsel and clarity Z Family Law provided me through my own divorce journey.
In addition to my work at Z Family Law, I am the Executive Director of the Eos Initiative, a collaborative effort of legislators, family law attorneys, academics and survivors of intimate partner violence working to advance legislation that makes family law proceedings safer for people fleeing abusive relationships. Before coming to Maryland, I spearheaded the creation of the George Mason University Center for the Study of Gender and Conflict, now an internationally renowned institution at an R1 University. I have conducted research on divorce, domestic violence and family law in the US, Indonesia and Russian Federation.
Over the course of my career, I have served in executive leadership of numerous non-profits, and have been a consultant to organizations including the UNICEF, USAID, and U.S. government contractors on a range of issues related to domestic violence and women’s empowerment. Through my work and research, I have had the privilege of working with hundreds of families facing crises over the course of my career.
Although I am deeply proud of my professional work, the title I am most grateful to have is “Mom”. My four-year-old son is the brightest light in my life. When I am not supervising his dubiously designed science experiments, I am policing his attempts to give our Labrador retriever a haircut. Despite the challenges of single-parenting, I wouldn’t trade my worst moment as a single mom for the resentment and acrimony I left behind when I chose to leave my son’s father. My experiences as a parent invaluably inform my work with Z Family Law’s clients, and I am honored to walk alongside other families through challenging times.